...is this coming Sunday. Barring the Rombalds Stride this is my most revisited LDWA challenge, and one of my favourites. Lovely mix of hills, moor, countryside, good views and best of all its not really a trudge as the ground underfoot is by and large solid.
In the meantime I've been mixing it up. I went out running in the dark Monday night. Not feeling bothered to trudge around town I got my headtorch on and ran into the Country Park about a half mile away. Its only a small triangle of land wedged between the Humber, higher ground in Hessle and the Humber bridge. Originally part of this was a quarry, which means it has multi-level cinder paths and steps for an intense workout. At some stage post quarry an entire woodland has grown up within this park making it a nice place to run on a hot or rainy day. While I have this on my doorstep I can never truly complain, some people are miles from parkland or countryside, seperated by miles of concrete. I can drag out a single loop of this park into about 2m.
It also makes a slightly intense place to run at night, not much light gets in so I was like the "Blair Witch" project in fast forward. Looking around in the slightly green vision the light beam creates is quite spooky especially when you catch a reflection off water out the corner of your eye or when you see yellow eyes staring out at you from a few yards into the tree's. Though overall I reckon it was probably me putting the frighteners on the local fauna :¬)
Tuesday was a return to shorter distance and fast running. Ran up the hill to the humber bridge car park and the start point of the club's handicap league fixtures. Off a fair handicap I started strong, getting past the starters 15 and 30 seconds ahead within half the 2.9m distance. Its good when your running well enough to do this - demotivating when it happens to you. Anyway I pushed on through the overall downhill first two miles, breathing going from hard to animalistic by the final straight. The poor girl I overtook here, quite new to the club, probably thought some derranged lunatic was running up behind her. I hit the final straight and glanced at my watch - all I had to do was keep going to beat my course PB set last year. The fastest guy on the night passed me here, quite effortlessly, quite without grunts and growns, I figured I'd try my best to chase him home.
I lunged across the line and kept on running through the volunteer marshalls, watchers, and other finishers as I felt almost sick so seeked space. I regained myself and checked the watch.... and.... the result was good, 18:02, a PB by 18 seconds and my best time in this winter league season by 32secs. Competitive as I can be I was just slightly disappointed I hadn't, somehow, pushed harder mid-race to crack 18. Overall though, very happy, I sometime wonder if all the long slow running may be hampering any future attempts at shorter distance, but it seems the opposite is true. It seems only one hard-paced session a week works for me and I certainly get more out of that session because of this. Almost like the few fast twitch fibres I have, relish there day and appreciate being carried by the slow-twitchers for the rest of the week.
So only halfway through the week and its been a good one so far, maybe I'm appreciating the reduction in mileage with the Hardmoors less than 3 weeks away now. Also, I've just taken delivery of my new OMM Adventurelight 20 pack. Pleasingly, a lighter weight pack than my current smaller capacity one and lots of features to explore. Ninety-nine red baloons go by....